How to make overnight oats

Read up on how to make the perfect breakfast pot of oats, fruit and toppings for a breakfast on the go.

Overnight oats

Breakfast that's ready to eat when you get up? What's not to like?  Set oats soaking before bed with grated apple or pear and enjoy a delicious breakfast straight from the fridge when you wake up.

A simple creamy mixture of softened oats and fruit, it's somewhere between a fruit yogurt and porridge - think healthy cranachan. 

How to make overnight oats


Apple & blueberry Bircher in a glass pot with spoon

This classic breakfast is also referred to as Bircher muesli after the famous Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner, who is said to have given the mixture to his patients. 

To make it, oats are soaked overnight in either fruit juice or natural yogurt. Try our recipe for apple & blueberry Bircher using apple juice, or soak the oats in natural yogurt like in this apple & banana Bircher.


Peanut butter and date oat pots

Jumbo oats will add more texture than porridge oats, or why not try a combination of the two? For extra flavour, toast some or all of the oats for a couple of minutes in a dry non-stick pan. Move them around with a spatula to make sure they cook evenly and once they start to become fragrant and ever-so-slightly browned at the edges, tip them out into a bowl or tray and leave to cool before using.


Three jars of overnight oats with different flavours

It is usual to add coarsely grated apple or pear to the mixture - the fruit pieces add freshness and tick off one of your daily fruit portions with very little effort. But try experimenting with the fruit you use - a mixture of apple and pomegranate is particularly delicious. Our spiced apple & crunchy pistachio Bircher is the perfect example. Or why not try something different with this tropical overnight oats recipe which incorporates the sunshine flavours of kiwi and passion fruit.


Three jars of overnight oats topped with mixed berries, yogurt, honey and nut butter

All that's left to do in the morning is add that final flourish; scattering over a handful of seasonal fruits, nuts or seeds to give your breakfast extra pizzazz.

Add a drizzle of honey, banana chips, a spoonful of crunchy granola or keep it classic with nuts and berries. This simple overnight oats recipe uses mixed summer berries, honey, yogurt and almond butter. 

Overnight oversight

Bowl of pear bircher breakfast bowl topped with blueberries

If it's the morning already and you haven't soaked your oats through the night, don't panic. Try this 10-minute breakfast bowl. You'll have just enough time to lay the table and get a pot of tea on the go. 

Are you an overnight oats advocator? What are your favourite combinations and toppings? We'd love to hear your ideas in the comments below...

Discover more overnight oats recipes.

Comments, questions and tips

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2nd Nov, 2019
I soak my oats in vanilla almond milk, add banana and strawberries, and add dollop of almond or peanut butter.
nancy baka
8th Aug, 2019
To give some extra summer freshness, combine grated melon, peach and pear to soak the oats overnight. Adding a bit of milk and honey to the mixture makes it even more delicious. Serve with Greek yogurt on the top. Tasty and healthy!
29th Aug, 2018
Jumbo oats with yoghurt, apple juice, grated apple, a handful of raisins and cinnamon. Then the next morning add a handful of berries, yum!
30th May, 2018
I don't always soak my last over night. I make it up in the morning before going to work and eat it for lunch. I mix fruit, at the moment I am using rhubarb cooked with a spoon, dessert of honey, a little ground ginger, fat free greek yogurt, rolled oats, a mix of dates & walnuts added in and a drizzle of honey. Delis. Time I make it till time I eat it, about 1pm it's just how I like it, with a slight bite & chew to it.
rwanjirumugo's picture
30th Jul, 2016
Frozen berries, Greek yoghurt, chia seeds and oats!
28th Jul, 2016
I toss some jumbo oats with frozen summer fruits and leave them overnight. Next morning, mash them a bit with a spoon, top with natural yogurt and a drizzle of honey. Recently I've been sprinkling with a mix of ground seeds that you can buy in a pouch. Absolutely delicious, my everyday breakfast.
Adelina Bryant-Rubio's picture
Adelina Bryant-Rubio
20th Mar, 2018
I have been having steel cut oats for breakfast for a while and it had helped to bring down my bad cholesterol. Would this type of oats recipe have the same effect?
goodfoodteam's picture
22nd Mar, 2018
Thank you for your question. Oats contain a beneficial type of fibre called beta-glucan. Oat beta-glucan has been shown to lower / reduce blood cholesterol and may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Enjoying your oats as an ‘overnight soaked bowl’ makes a convenient way to ensure you maintain your intake of this beneficial fibre. Soaking oats also increases resistant starch which may help manage your blood sugar levels, keeping you fuller for longer.
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